Internships Can Be Focused On Working For Experience And Also On Working For Pay
It’s become something of a trending question in both education and employment spheres… Should internships be paid? People tend to have strong feelings on both sides of this opinion spectrum, and there’s also a lot of proverbial gray area in-between, especially when nuance is brought into the conversation.
When it comes to internships as a vital part of career prep, there are several aspects to consider around both paid and unpaid opportunities. So, let’s take a closer look at the benefits and drawbacks, the pros and cons, which come with both paid and unpaid internships. And, remember, a first internship position is often just as important as a first employee position, when it comes to overall career trajectory.
Many internship positions are also paid positions.
There are increasingly more internship positions that are now paid, due to recent education and employment trends. This means that for some opportunities, students and recent graduates won’t have to decide between taking an internship for pay or for the experience. When an internship position is paid, students and graduates should understand that it is required by law to receive the federal minimum wage. The benefits of taking a paid internship can include the immediate financial gains and also a significant self-esteem boost that seems to naturally follow getting paid for one’s work, according to interviews conducted by “Capital Placement.” The drawbacks of paid internships can often include higher workloads for the intern during the assignment, and the temptation to take the internship role for the pay itself, instead of for the relevance it could bring to your chosen career field.
There are still quite a few strong yet unpaid internship opportunities, too.
Though the current trends do seem to favor paid internships in many instances, you may still find unpaid internship options available that are quite interesting. These unpaid roles might also be able to help you build a strong resume in your chosen area of professional focus. Taking an unpaid internship, if you are financially able to do so, that can bolster your career prep education and longer-term goals may be worth it. And, as a definite benefit, unpaid internships do tend to focus more heavily on the educational aspect of career learning, with fewer overall pressures that are often part and parcel of a paid role. Many unpaid internships (and some paid ones, as well) also offer college credit, too. Some of the drawbacks of an unpaid internship can include potential short-term financial stress for the intern, and possible self-esteem challenges that can naturally center around the issue of not being paid for one’s work.
When it comes to deciding whether to take any internship position, paid or unpaid, students and graduates will want to weigh all of the pros and cons of each individual opportunity that is offered to them. While being paid can be an important deciding factor for a developing professional, you will want to weigh the short-term and long-term benefits of that decision against your greater career goals. Taking a high-level view of the entirety of an internship role is the best way to determine if it is the optimal fit for you and your career path.
Check out the latest tips on Balancing Work And High School, from a Stride Career Prep Success Coach!
To read a Stride Student Advisor’s perspective on preventing burnout, be sure to visit the article: Knowing When To Take A Break From Schoolwork.
Considering enrolling your child in a Stride K12 school, for further education and career prep options and experiences? The best time is always now!
Plus, if you are looking for an internship right now, be sure to check out Stride's Internship Search Tool: https://www.stridelearning.com/career-prep/internships.html
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